Political Update – March 2024

Main Event – Pedicabs Bill passes through Parliament

The Pedicabs (London) Bill completed its passage through Parliament yesterday. The Bill gives Transport for London (TfL) the powers to regulate fares and improve safety standards, something that Heart of London has been calling for for many years.

The Bill is expected to receive royal assent in the coming weeks, after which, TfL is likely to consult on what the regulations should look like. We have been in discussions with TfL to see how our members can best engage with the consultation process, and will share more information in due course.

Ahead of the debate, we engaged with Simon Lightwood MP, Shadow Minister for Local Transport, who mentioned Heart of London in his speech, referencing calls for pedicab ranks in the West End.

Heart of London has worked tirelessly with members and stakeholders to get pedicabs regulated, so we wholeheartedly welcome this major step forward. As members have told us, the next steps are to ensure that the regulations work for the West End and that they are properly enforced.

Commenting on the progress, Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London, provided the following quote for the Department of Transport’s announcement:

“We are delighted to see the Pedicabs Bill take its final steps towards becoming law today. Without regulation, pedicabs have been a menace to London. With regulation, they could prove to be a safe and environmental means of travel. We look forward to working with TfL, who will enforce the regulations, to ensure that the scheme works for the capital.”

Political Activity

  • Hosted a member roundtable for Westminster City Council’s (WCC) consultation on street entertainment and busking. We are currently drafting the response.
  • We are also responding to WCC’s consultation on the new City Plan, with a particular focus on retrofitting. We will ask members for input later this week.
  • Rachel Blake, the Labour candidate to be MP for the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, attended this month’s Board meeting to offer an overview of her priorities.
  • Our Deputy Chief Executive Mark Williams spoke at an Industry and Parliament Trust roundtable in Parliament on the value of creative sectors to enrich towns and cities.
  • We provided a supportive quote to TfL as it confirmed it would trial off-peak Fridays
  • The Chancellor delivered the Budget on 6 March. Our full summary and reaction can be found here.

Recent Media Coverage

Looking Ahead

Local and London Mayoral Elections will take place on 2 May. The GLA is currently in its pre-election period, which limits its activity until after the election. There has yet to be an update on the UK General Election; an autumn date remains most likely.

Our upcoming political activity includes:

  • Launching a Westminster manifesto with the other BIDs in the borough
  • Organising West End site visits for senior politicians ahead of the General Election
  • Engaging with TfL on both Pedicabs and the Friday fare freeze
  • Launching our net-zero report and strategy
  • Regular catchup with BIDs and the WCC opposition leader

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the above in further detail, please contact our Head of Public Affairs, Matt Panteli, on mattp@holba.london